Arroyo surrogates’ hypocrisy on Crispin Beltran

President Arroyo’s deputy spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo issued the following statement yesterday regarding the death of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran:

Our condolences to the family of the late Cong. Beltran. We share their grief in this time of great personal loss. While congressman Beltran and the Armed Forces may have stood at opposite poles in the pursuit of our respective mission, we regarded him with respect. Like many of our soldier-heroes, he stood for what he believed in. And in my personal view, he is a true Filipino.

Did the Palace actually consider Beltran — an unarmed civilian and duly-elected partylist representative — that way? If that is truly so, then we should no longer wonder why civilian critics of the AFP continue to be murdered.

I don’t know if I am just too sensitive but I feel that painting Beltran as a foe of the military was unwarranted and yet betrays the Arroyo administration’s inclination to wrongfully tag its critics.

The greatest flaw of Fajardo’s slip is this: Arroyo’s spokesperson pushes that flawed idea that a social activist and labor leader like Beltran was automatically a foe or target of the military. That those who dare criticize Arroyo are at once fair game for the military.

Even the other messages of condolence from fellow Arroyo surrogates smack of plain deception. After detaining him for 15 months and branding him endlessly his likes as “communist terrorists” or “enemies of the state”, the Palace called him “a respected labor leader”, among other spins.

Kapal, di ba? The Palace could just have issued a simple statement expressing condolences to Beltran’s family and his party but the surrogates went overboard in what could be a vain attempt to cover up what they did to him in the not so recent past.

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